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Sculptors Guild records, 1915-1979, bulk, 1930-1974

Sculptors Guild records, 1915-1979, bulk, 1930-1974

Sculptors Guild (New York, N.Y.)

Collection Information

Size: 5.7 linear feet

Summary: The records of the Sculptors Guild measure 5.7 linear feet, date from 1936-1979, and document the history of this non-profit artist organization from its inception in 1937 to the late 1970s. The records contain correspondence and minutes documenting the activities of the Guild's various committees, legal and financial records, artist files for Guild members, exhibition files, printed material, scrapbooks and photographs.

Biographical/Historical Note

Sculptors Guild (founded 1937) is an art club in New York, N.Y.

Provenance

The Sculptors Guild records were donated by the Sculptors Guild in 1966, 1979, and 1991 and were microfilmed on Reels D262-D266A and 5908-5910 in the order in which they were received.

A Finding Aid to the Sculptors Guild Records,
1936-1979
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.sculguil
Author
Finding aid prepared by Jean Fitzgerald
Historical Note
The Sculptors Guild was founded in New York City in 1937 by a group of artists interested in the promotion of contemporary sculpture in a wide variety of styles through free group exhibitions and educational programs. Membership in the Guild was obtainable only by invitation, based on a sculptor's creative ability and professional standing.
The Guild held annual exhibitions of contemporary sculpture in locations such as the terrace of the International Building at Rockefeller Plaza, Bryant Park, the New York Botanical Gardens, and perhaps most notably at Lever House, marking the introduction of the exhibition of professional art in corporate lobbies. The Guild frequently combined demonstrations and lectures with its exhibitions. Many traveling exhibitions circulated under the auspices of the American Federation of Arts, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Board of Education of the City of New York. The Guild also held several outdoor exhibitions in various other locations in New York City, and at the New York World's Fair in 1939-1940.
Between 1937 and 1964 the Sculptors Guild was supported by membership dues, a 30 percent commission taken on sales of sculpture at annual exhibibitions and private funding. In the mid-1960s the Guild recognized the need for increased funding from foundations and established the Friends of the Sculptors Guild to this end.
The Sculptors Guild was headquartered at various New York locations throughout its history. From 1937-1938, it was located at 52 West 8th Street, moving in early 1939 to 37 East 4th Street. Later that year the Guild moved again, to 96 Fifth Avenue, where it stayed for 25 years. In 1966 the Guild moved to 106 West 16th Street and, in the following year, to 797 Madison Avenue. In 1991 the Guild was located at 35 East 85th Street. The Sculptors Guild is still in operation in 2005 and is located at the Soho Building, 110 Greene Street, New York City.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 7 series.
Series 1: Correspondence, 1937-1976 (Boxes 1, 9, OV 10; 1.0 linear foot)
Series 2: Business Records, 1936-1974 (Boxes 2-3; 1.6 linear feet)
Series 3: Artist Files, 1936-circa 1965 (Boxes 3-4, 7; 1.2 linear feet)
Series 4: Exhibition Files, circa 1938-1979 (Boxes 4, 9, OV 10; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1938-1952 (Boxes 7-9; 0.7 linear feet)
Series 6: Printed Material, circa 1938-1974 (Boxes 5-6, OV 10; 0.7 linear feet)
Series 7: Photographs, circa 1938, circa 1960s (Box 6; 1 folder)
Scope and Content Note
The records of the Sculptors Guild measure 5.7 linear feet, date from 1936-1979, and document the history of this non-profit artist organization from its inception in 1937 to the late 1970s. The records contain correspondence and minutes documenting the activities of the Guild's various committees, legal and financial records, artist files for Guild members, exhibition files, printed material, scrapbooks and photographs.
The early years of the Guild's history, from 1938-1948, are particularly well documented in business records including detailed meeting minutes of the executive board, membership and nominating committees, and exhibition and cultural committees. Correspondence files provide a good overview of the development of Guild programs and changes within the organization from 1937-1976, although coverage of events from the late 1940s to the mid 1960s is relatively sparse. Researchers should consult subseries 1.2: Correspondence by Subject, for records relating to this period.
Artist files provide biographical information for and photographs of many of the Guild's members. Scrapbooks, exhibition files and printed material document the founding of the Guild and its exhibitions from the late 1930s to the 1970s. The collection also contains photographs of Guild members, officers and many of its exhibitions.
Provenance
The Sculptors Guild records were donated by the Sculptors Guild in 1966, 1979, and 1991 and were microfilmed on Reels D262-D266A and 5908-5910 in the order in which they were received.
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Jean Fitzgerald and Stephanie Ashley in 2005 and 2006.

Additional Forms Available

Portions of the collection are available on 35 mm microfilm reels D262-D266A and 5908-5910 at Archives of American Art offices, and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the current archival arrangement of material does not necessarily correspond to the order on microfilm. Where possible microfilm reel and frame numbers have been provided in the Series Description/Container Listing.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Sculptors Guild records, 1915-1979, bulk, 1930-1974. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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